Electronic bingo in all forms officially ruled illegal in Alabama

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Greenetrack in Greene County in August 2015. (Photos by TAB staff)

MONTGOMERY (TAB) —  Two rulings by the Alabama Supreme Court today (Dec. 23), combined with a March ruling already on the books, officially clarify that electronic bingo in all its forms is illegal in Alabama, according to Attorney General Luther Strange.

In the case State of Alabama v. 825 Electronic Gambling Devices et al (Greenetrack), the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State, reversing a lower court judgment siding with the casino, Strange explained in a news release. As a result, the State of Alabama is allowed to destroy the electronic bingo machines it seized from Greenetrack.

In its 29-page ruling, the Alabama Supreme Court reaffirmed its March 31, 2016, ruling in a similar case involving the legality of electronic bingo machines at VictoryLand in Macon County.

“There is no longer any room for uncertainty, nor justification for continuing dispute, as to the meaning of [the term ‘bingo’]. And certainly the need for any further expenditure of judicial resources, including the resources of this Court, to examine this issue is at an end. All that is left is for the law of this state to be enforced,” the Supreme Court said.

In the second case (Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc., d/b/a Victoryland v. Marie Hoffman), the Supreme Court ruled individuals have a right to sue illegal gambling institutions.

“Because the ‘contracts’ containing the arbitration provisions in these cases were based on gambling consideration, they were based solely on criminal conduct and are therefore void. Consequently, the provisions of those ‘contracts,’ including arbitration provisions are void and unenforceable,” the Supreme Court ruled.

Strange urged local law enforcement to do their duty to enforce the law, noting the rulings should remove any doubt regarding the legality of the machines.

“Local sheriffs and police officers in most parts of the state are enforcing our gambling laws,” he said. “The sheriffs in Greene and Macon counties must uphold their sworn duty to enforce the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court and not continue to sanction this illegal activity. As I have previously stated, my office stands ready to render any required assistance to enable them to carry out their legal duties.”

To read more on this topic, click here.

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About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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